As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the Vancouver Canucks have locked up the President’s Trophy as the NHL’s top team in the regular season. We know this because they absolutely took the night off in their first meaningless game against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night! But I digress. They’re the top dogs, which means we know that they will play whichever team ends up in 8th place in the conference. In case you haven’t seen the NHL standings in a while, here they are:
With an impressive 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night, the Canucks clinched first place in the entire National Hockey League. In case you’re counting at home, that’s the first time in 40 years that we can say the Vancouver Canucks are President’s Trophy winners. It’s a nice feather in their cap, and nice to have won it for the first time. Enjoy it Canucks fans… for now.
The Chicago Blackhawks are back in town! Slated to play the Canucks on Friday, Jonathan Toews and company are currently 8th in the conference, which of course means “if the regular season ended today” the Canucks and Blackhawks would meet in the 1st round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs! So what do you think of that Canucks fans? Does that worry you? I have to admit, it worries me a little.
First of all, let me start off this article by stating that this is not a knee jerk reaction article because of last night’s 7-1 debacle against the Chicago Blackhawks. I have been thinking about writing this article for some time now, and last night just cemented my feelings on this.
We are just under one month into the 2010-11 edition of the Vancouver Canucks. Despite pre-season Stanley Cup predictions, this season began with a bit of a whimper. The Canucks started off the season 2-3-2, beating only bottom feeders Florida and Carolina. It also featured a fan fueled goaltending freakout of Dan Cloutier proportions.
Last night’s shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks brings the Canucks record to 0-2 in shootouts this year, which begs the question: do the Canucks miss Kyle Wellwood? Now, I’m not suggesting that replacing Wellwood with Malhotra this year on the third line was a poor decision, but they sure do miss his shootout prowess. Remarkably, Canucks shooters haven’t been the main problem, that distinction goes to Roberto Luongo and his .000 SV% in shootouts this year. Luongo has a decent save percentage all-time, so he should get over his early season shootout troubles.
We’re two games into the 2010-11 regular season and already a mini media firestorm has begun with the decision to start Roberto Luongo in goal for tonight’s game versus the Anaheim Ducks. The argument goes that if the Canucks are to play Cory Schneider in 20-25 games this season (as Mike Gillis has suggested), they ought to play Schneider against what looks like a poor team in Anaheim.
What an eventful first game of the season. In the first game of their 40th anniversary season, the Canucks brought back all living members of their inaugural team. Pat Quinn received the biggest ovation, a classy gesture by the fans at Rogers Arena. From there, Henrik Sedin was officially named captain by receiving the C from the first captain in Canucks history, Orland Kurtenbach. I thought it was a nice ceremony that was done with a lot of class.
Never before has the NHL’s marketing campaign “is this the year?” ever spoke to me like it does now. Isn’t that really the question on every fan of the Vancouver Canucks mind today? Is this the year they can finally bring the cup home to Vancouver? Well, as a fan of the Canucks for all of my life, I can safely say that their chance to win the cup has never been this good to begin a season. Now, let me qualify that statement with the fact that this in no way makes them a sure thing, and if you’ve followed the Canucks long enough, you know that high expectations are usually something to be worried about in these parts. But alas, the Canucks are entering the 2010-11 season as one of the Stanley Cup favourites, and given the alternative, that’s something to get excited about. So get excited Canucks fans, but know that the competition will be stiff.
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the top ten of our top 40 Canucks of all-time countdown! I think most Canucks fans would have these players in their top ten, but the order in which they appear is sure to stir up debate. Henrik won the Hart, Naslund won the Pearson, Linden has the most points and Bure was the most electrifying. Among goalies, McLean won the big game but Luongo has the best numbers. Who is the best? Only Canuckz.com knows for sure:
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